Local advocate proposes TN registry for repeat domestic violence offenders

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – A local domestic violence survivor is working with state lawmakers to create a piece of legislation that could help track repeat domestic violence offenders.

“A registry for domestic assault offenders that continue to commit domestic violence,” said Victim’s Rights Advocate Debbie Church.

Church told News Channel 11, she was inspired to propose the creation of a registry after her own personal experience with domestic violence at the hands of her now ex-husband.

“He broke into my house twice, kidnapped me twice, kidnapped my son,” said Church.

Church said in the past she has helped create safe houses and provided other kinds of support for victims in the Tri-Cities region.

Church told News Channel 11, if the legislation moves forward, it has the potential to save lives.

“Even if I save one person’s, life it would be worth it,” said Church.

We spoke with the site coordinator for the Sullivan County Family Justice Center Karen Boyd who also helps victims of domestic violence find helpful resources.

Boyd said the registry seems like a good idea.

Boyd said last year in Sullivan County, law enforcement agencies received 1,817 domestic violence calls last year.

“Statistics show people that abusers are just abusers. Victims often think what’s wrong with me that this is happening. But it’s not the victim it is the abuser and when that victim is able to get away that abuser is just going to go find another victim,” said Boyd.

Church said the legislation is still in the initial stages but she is hoping local lawmakers will propose the bill passed next legislative session.



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